SOCIAL DANCING (aka NEGOTIATING) w/ Keith Hennessy
Four days of research, play, and performance: dancing together, in collaboration, with an Other. Shared experimental practice in the blessings and crises of social relationships. Through a range of mostly (but not only) duet activities we’ll negotiate improvisation and composition, touching and not touching, meaning and perspective, speed and space, unity-in-difference, gestures and objects. Potential tactics: observation, post/contact, refusal, solidarity, companionship, endurance, unison, swamp, collaboration, debate, improvisation, and prayer. Remember when neoliberalism was our best tool for analyzing the current crises of solidarity, economic injustice, precarity and personal anxiety? Trumpism – as part of international movements towards radical right nationalist populism – challenges us to reconsider fascism, nationalism, fear, and security. We will use the workshop as a political laboratory to research new forms of social practice-prayer-magic-ritual-dancing-performance-action. We’ll consider the dance class as prefigurative resistance and care practice (living now as we want the future to be) 10/5 – 10/8
CHOREOGRAPHING IMPROVISATION / IMPROVISING CHOREOGRAPHY w/ Ishmael Houston Jones
It is my belief that all dance that is made to be performed in front of a live audience is choreographed. There is a common mistaken notion that there is a dichotomy between “choreographed” dances and “improvised” ones. I believe that there is only a difference in temporality – all dance performances have the same compositional concerns – some choreography is set and is meant to be repeated nearly exactly and others are choreographed in the moment. 10/5 – 10/8
Movement Technique Practice w/ Michelle Boulé This class uses guided improvisations and simple exercises inspired by Boulé’s 20 years of studying numerous somatic and energetic modalities. The aim is to find a maximally informed and creative approach to dancing, where everyone has space to honor their own unique systems for movement. Class ends with the application of this information to choreographed phrase work.
BodyTalk and Open Movement w/ Michelle Boulé
This class is open to anyone who is interested in holistic health combined with a self-directed movement practice. It begins with a short group BodyTalk treatment for everyone present. BodyTalk reconnects the bodymind to its innate ability to self-heal, by harmonizing the body’s various systems. Themes from the treatment serve as optional prompts for 45 minutes of open movement. People may move as they wish, with respect for the whole group. The class closes with another brief BodyTalk treatment for the group and time for questions and reflection. The BodyTalk treatments combined with movement deepen the effects of the BodyTalk treatment, setting healing and creativity into motion. No previous experience required.
Countertechnique w/ Joy Davis
Countertechnique class prepares the the body for rehearsal and performance. Within a clear class structure, it provides tools for body and mind to deal with the demanding dance practice of the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body by focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. The goal is to enable dancers to move bigger, with fluidity, and spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible. Students will be introduced to the Toolbox: a framework from which ideas and principals of Countertechnique are accessed during an exercise. The priority is to experience clarity and enjoyment of movement. Dancers are encouraged to be pro-active in discovering connections and solutions, to be less concerned with judging themselves, and to work in a healthy way physically, mentally and emotionally.
It is just the beginning, and it may last forever w/ Alice Gosti:
In this class we will investigate durational performance, asking ourselves: how long does it go for? What if it lasts forever? Using improvisational scores and task based movement we will challenge time as we know it, expanding and contracting it to alter our own experience, emotions and perceptions.
Mosh Pit w/ Alice Gosti:
Like electrons we move, collide, fall and rise creating more and more energy.
I’ve been obsessed with mosh-pits since childhood. A communal state in which energy and tension are released outward. Not violence. No. A collective release of energies. We will use different scores to build trust and boundaries. To than culminate in a pure 10 minute moshpit. Please bring comfortable running shoes and water.
Class w/ Jasmine Hearn
To begin we come together in a guided improvisation that invites the imagination and the body to warm-up. Using practices from yoga, BodyMindMovement, and various dance techniques and styles including, post-modern, modern, jazz, AfroCuban, and zydeco, we move together through exercise and groove following our pleasure. The class ends learning phrase-work and exploring the possibilities that we as artists can conjure with our bodies, feelings, and imaginations.
Play Practice Technique Class w/ Abhilash Ningappa
This workshop is focused on fundamentals of breath, speed and energy, involving the core structure of the body influenced by different methods of Martial Arts Techniques of Kalari Payattu and Contemporary Technique. The technique focuses on balance and physical strength. The practice itself is about identifying our way of expressing ourselves in certain situations, such as moments of confrontation and noticing how we deal, accept and react to movement materials. We warm up with martial art training leading into phrase work. Observing the reaction of body, recollecting or replaying the phrase, and identifying it as a new form. A form which is a combination of one’s own experience based on previous movement experience practice as well as fundamentals working with martial arts principles. This technique allows us to experience our strength, stamina and even exhaustion while letting the body experience the changes in breath and power.
Le Fonk Arabi w/ Donna Mejia
Each year, artists in North Africa and the Arab Word’s countries remix our own American hip hop traditions to new heights and possibilities. Arabic Hip Hop is arguably a counter-manifestation to the West’s Tribal Fusion. In this workshop I highlight the emerging movement aesthetics of this dynamic dialog. After a vigorous warm up and substantial stretching, dancers will receive a variety of stationary and moving progressions that punctuate the percussiveness in music driven by beats. Some would define power as the ability to produce large and dramatic movements of virtuosic prowess. I define power as the ability to channel tremendous force but not be removed from one’s center; the strength to metaphorically “swallow the hurricane.” This requires steadiness in one’s core, nuance, a grounded way of moving through space, and, above all, courage to face forces stronger than one’s self. In this class, we are going to take the thickest, hardest and crunchiest beats I could locate and translate them into our dancing bodies. Some big moves are on the menu, but I aim to also build intricacy and rhythmic clarity in our movement through remixed hip work.With music and hardcore beats as a guide, drill practice is about to get juicy. Please note that this workshop may utilize music with adult lyrics and themes. Sorry/Not Sorry. Dance/athletic shoes, a long sleeve shirt and knee pads may be helpful on occassion. Please bring a yoga mat for warm up! Donna’s musical playlist includes some of the best Arabic/International Funk, Hip Hop, Hard Core, House, Liquid, Phaze, Elemental, Mashup, and Electronica in the universe!
Impulse, Momentum, and Fluidity w/ Donna Mejia
This class will explore continuums of movements: the uninterrupted flow of movement in both the standing body (transferred as waves) and traveling body (progressions across the floor). We will investigate the idea of obstructions or default movement habits. Our class objective is NOT to create a specific style or aesthetic of dance. Rather, we will workshop our way through common patterns of resistance. Participants can expect a substantial and vigorous warmup (please bring a yoga mat), followed by short phrases of choreography danced across the room. We will give special focus to traveling patterns in the feet, and integration of hip/torso work in conjunction with traveling. Building confidence with improvisation and perpetuity is what we’re aiming for. As always, I promise the best music in the universe (!), respect for your dignity as a participant, honesty, and much laughter during our experimental time together. Please bring a yoga mat for the warm up.
Hybridizing Technique w/ Jen Polins
This technique class is an intermediate/ advanced highly physical class working towards a grounded and direct approach to movement, infused with somatic principles and experiential improvisations. We will focus on the volume and weight inside the body and its relationship to the floor, bring awareness to the feet, spine, and pelvic floor, encourage the feeling of release in the limbs, and articulate falling and suspending off-center. Class work explores sensation, instinct, and the inherent musical phrasing inside the body.
Making Choices w/ Lisa Race
Improvisation will be the means to immediate composing and setting of movement, either in solo for duet forms. The emphasis will be on making, perhaps discovering meaning – or not. Exuberant play with improvisational structures, including contact will be employed from which to compose and then share with one another. We will bend, roll, fly and collaborate to create mini dances.
Upside Down/Right Side Up w/ Lisa Race
This class will emphasize movement intended to develop a strong body that can be comfortable with any orientation in space, nurture growth in more traditional technical realms and deepen bodily knowledge with an emphasis on grounding, sequencing and alignment. Experiencing movement as a practice that can incorporate our most natural physicality to allow the body to find freedom within set dance vocabulary will be explored. Dance phrases will highlight the thrill of momentum and gravity as a means to develop full-bodied, risky dancing, regularly challenging the body to defy preconceived notions of what a body can achieve in dance.
Moving Through Pleasure/pleasure activism w/ Joy Mariama Smith
We work to create an inclusive safe(r) space for us to explore and inhabit and perform pleasure through movement. Using Adrienne Maree Brown’s five tangible tools for pleasure activism as a starting point. We will consensually move through pleasure. Sexual pleasure is not the main focus of the workshop but we do want to acknowledge that sex and sexuality could come up. We will collectively and individually explore the following: self-love, awareness & curiosity, talking about pleasure, and embodying various pleasure states.
Couples Therapy w/ Joy Mariama Smith
A class on collaborating, experimentation, play and performance.We will explore consent, intimacy, vulnerability &communication in collaborative work. Couples Therapy is not for couples, nor is it therapy. It is ‘Couple’-y, in the sense of it being a collaboration involving two open and receptive partners and it is ‘Therapeutic‘ in the sense that we work positively with the problems of collaboration and person-hood. Performance is a delicate miracle that only works when those involved are present, listening and communicative. Polyamory places communication and negotiation as a core values in a relationship. Couples Therapy uses the frames of Polyamorous Theory, as a starting point for generating work. Using Clown, Improvisation, Karaoke & a wide variety of influences Couples Therapy will:
- Encourage you to go deeper into your collaborative process
- Give you tools to develop work from intimacy and honesty
- Strengthening your ability to listen
- Create a language of consent in your performance.
Radial Diamond Kinetics w/ Hana Van der Kolk:
Part non-denominational community ritual, part self-care practice, part interpretive dance absurdity, part aerobics workout, radial diamond kinetics (The Sweat) is open to all regardless of dance experience, and can be modified for many body types and abilities. Sweat, play, tone, dismantle habits, hang ups, and hatred through a multi-dimensional body/heart/mind practice. radial diamond kinetics is inspired by fierce communal dance tactics from practitioners in North America, Europe, Japan, and West Africa including Deborah Hay, Min Tanaka/Body Weather Labratory, Chani Bockwinkel, Germaine Acogny, d. Sabela grimes, Jennifer Monson, and many others.
Boring Dancing w/ Hana Van der Kolk
In recent projects Boring Angel and NothingnessXXX I, and my collaborators, have been busy with subtle practices that engage the relationship between mover and objects and between mover and space. With these practices it is actually less of a relationship between that we have been researching, but rather a potential collapse in the difference between a body (and its impulses, thoughts, desires, and actions) and the other objects that body shares space with, as well as the space itself. In this lab we will play with the “object practice” and “nothingness practice,” the modes of working at the heart of these two recent projects, and will have time to write about/discuss how these practices might frame/support re-orientations to the earth/environment, sex, technology, physical ability, governance, consumption, and domination/submission. If this class has more than one session, we may also play with costuming the practices to draw out what we are discovering about the practice/theory conversation inside the work.
Performance Practices Lab w/ Michelle Boulé
This two-hour workshop builds awareness around personal belief systems and practices of performance. Guided improvisations and energetic/somatic-based exercises serve as tools for accessing one’s abilities to feel, perceive, and take action. The class includes watching, performing, discussion, and fun. The aim is to expand and move beyond the limits of personal paradigms. Please bring a pen and paper. Open to all levels of experience.
Common/Sense: Improvisational practice for performance presence w/ Joy Davis
The commonality of the sensing body lays the foundation for this improvisational exploration of the practical tools in the Countertechnique. Originally designed for the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, in this workshop Joy shares her knowledge of the Countertechnique to create an environment for movement discovery based in the reality of space, gravity, anatomy, and connection. By exploring the tools in more detail with a different focus each day, this practice cultivates availability in the body, develops agility in making choices on stage, and refines skills for dynamic performance presence.
Object based identity w/ Alice Gosti
How do the objects we own define our identity and in return end up owning us. In this workshop we will investigate our personal relationships with objects using both physical and verbal languages to play with what we find. Many of the scores we will be playing with come from my new project Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture.
Lab w/ Jasmine Hearn
Together we will take space and time to engage with our pleasure and imagination using movement, writing, and fantasy. After we saturate ourselves with lush imagery and excerpts from black feminist literature, we will move–finding our own groove. We will daydream. We will write our own scripture.
Discovery Masterclass: Transnational and ‘Tribal’ Fusion Arab-American w/ Donna Mejia
‘Tribal’ Fusion is a transnational dance genre rooted in the nomadic and secular dance traditions of the Arabian Diaspora. Although the form claims strong roots in women’s styles of Arabic folk dance, various artists of the genre have expanded the vocabulary to include the influences of Romm (‘Gypsy’) dance styles from India to Europe, Spanish Flamenco, North African dances, and more recently American hip hop, electronic, punk and gothic subcultures. As it was popularized, the form grew in response to the experimentation of DJs sampling and digitally manipulating traditional instruments through hip hop, electronic and world music. In this discovery class with Donna Mejia, you’ll hear the best hardcore global electronica in the universe, learn foundational hip work and poly-rhythmic orientation. Dancers of all ages, gender expression, ability levels, and life experiences are absolutely welcomed in the class. Please bring a yoga mat for the warm up.
Architect of Self Destruction w/ Abhilash Ningappa
In this class we explore a specific experience of movement. The self and space can never separated. In the process of destruction, the space and the self is bound to be destroyed. We will trace the process of destruction through evolution, social system of traditions and movement experiences. We will look at destruction and self-destruction as an experience of breaking systems. Destruction is a process as well as a creation and in a more practical sense, destruction is used in order to understand space in the form of emptiness and freedom through movement research. During the performance work we will use methods which trigger emotions, games or scores where the task is planned and will discuss various aspects of destruction and the result. Physical experience is the output and observation. A structured destruction leads into creation of the performance work.
Hybridizations: duration, endurance and attention w/ Jen Polins
How does our ability to “effortlessly” dip in to so much information dilute our creative potential? We will amplify both ends of the spectrum to linger in some basic questions about perspectives on physicality and performance.
We might spend long amounts of time in open, non goal orientated states- we might do some body work- we might look at Body Mind Centering and other somatic approaches to perception. we will study recuperation.
Slow Improv w/ Lisa Race
There are no demands. There is time to breathe. This class is about taking time. We will improvise from subtle movement prompts to allow a body to navigate freely in known or new territory. We will move, we will observe, we will talk. We will move some more.
My shame, Your shame [shame research lab] w/ Joy Mariama Smith
Starting with re-framing shame as a departure point for pleasure, we will draw from Dr Morgana Maye’s notion of shame as an aspect of a state of arousal. Through using objects, movement and co-working we will plunge deeply into the transformative nature of taking a shameful experience and turning it into pleasure. While this workshop is all inclusive, members of marginalized communities have priority. Specifically: People of Color, Femmes*, Trans*, Queers*, Non-Binary people.
Temporary Communities w/ Hana Van der Kolk
Are you planning or looking to do a project involving bodies/movement/dance and a small or large group of people that don’t necessarily have much in common, don’t know each other at all, or don’t share a specific orientation to art or dancing? I’ve done/do work like this, so I will offer a lab in which folks can question, develop, and refine their visions and plans for their own projects/proposals. Sometimes these kinds of projects are called socially engaged, community art, social practice, or outreach projects. These are complicated labels, so we’ll also spend sometime unpacking these. Our approaches/exercises will come out of things I’ve learned from my past work, my work as a facilitator with communityLAB, a Captial Region (NY)-based group that trains activists to become more effective leaders, collaborators, and community organizers, and my training in the Internal Family System, a radical approach to individual and community healing.
Group Shake w/ Jared Williams
A Group Shake is a communal somatic practice derived from many types of shaking practices that have evolved independently and collectively over millenia. This particular Group Shake is a 1 + hour collective somatic event. We shake [ to music ] together for duration with the emphasis on shaking the body in various ways. It can look like dancing but we don’t have to be concerned with appearance, skill or rhythm. Group and individual ecstatic and meditative states can be achieved. Bring clothes to sweat in and water.